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      ZANU PF info chiefs clash

      Brian Mangwende
      6/10/2004 6:56:49 AM (GMT +2)

      ZANU PF old guard's subtle flush of impatience with Jonathan Moyo
finally boiled over last week when Nathan Shamuyarira took him to task over
utterances the party's information supremo felt were demeaning of his role
in bringing a British television network into the country.

      Moyo is the Minister of Information and Publicity in the Office of the
President and Cabinet while Shamuyarira, believed to be a long-standing
confidante of President Robert Mugabe and is also said to be writing the
president's biography, is ZANU PF's secretary for information and publicity.
At the ruling party level Moyo is Shamuyarira's deputy.

      The two have clashed over the invitation of Sky News, a British
television news channel, by ZANU PF for an interview with President Mugabe
last month. The embarrassing Sky News debacle indicated that Moyo and
Shamuyarira were pulling in different directions. Moyo, who is increasingly
seen as politically provocative, did not hide his opposition to Sky News'
visit whose invitation to Zimbabwe he unsuccessfully tried to block

      While the ZANU PF old guard's rash of impatience with Moyo had not yet
spilt into the public domain, open clashes between the party's information
chief and his deputy underscore the potential for fissures within the ruling

      The cracks could prise apart the bonds that tie ZANU PF, which has of
late emerged bruised by the colliding interests of the party's old guard and
the so-called new blood.

      Shamuyarira, the first government minister to voluntarily resign from
government since independence in 1980, belongs to a generation of ageing and
ailing liberation war politicians now on their last legs. Moyo, who belongs
to the "new blood" in the party structures, first dabbled in the treacherous
waters of Zimbabwean politics in 1999 in the run-up to the country's
constitutional referendum in the same year before he was subsequently
appointed minister in 2000.

      Political observers were quick to say that there was more to the
latest bust-up than meets the eye. It was unheard of in ZANU PF, they said,
for senior members of the party to have such sharp differences on key issues
with junior members who seemingly did not have political clout.

      This meant that the old guard, seen as irrelevant in the run-up to the
2008 presidential election, was increasingly being sidelined. It also meant
that those "standing up to their seniors in the party" had sufficient
political backing, otherwise they would not stir such controversies without
knowing where it would all end.

      "It was just a discussion surrounding the Sky News saga. I explained
to the meeting how they came into Zimbabwe and for what. Moyo also accepted
my explanation. We all agreed that he (Moyo) had overstepped the mark when
he made certain statements without verifying with me first," said
Shamuyarira, trying to play down the internal infighting which has become
something of a public mess when the party would rather it remained subtle.

      But ZANU PF Politburo sources told The Financial Gazette this week
that Shamuyarira lost his cool on Wednesday last week and took Moyo to task
for undermining his authority.

      The source said retired army general Solomon Mujuru kicked off the
debate on Sky News and Shamuyarira immediately joined in by taking a swipe
at Moyo. Mujuru is viewed as the invisible man and voice of conscience in
ZANU PF politics.

      "Shamuyarira was visibly angry with Moyo, whom he accused of
disrespect and indiscipline," the source said. "Shamuyarira questioned Moyo
about his attitude, which he said left a lot to be desired. I have never
seen Shamuyarira so angry. You could see that the man was not amused with
the manner in which his deputy was conducting himself in public, especially
on the Sky News issue."

      Asked how Moyo took Shamuyarira's sentiments, the source said: "Moyo
merely said he had a lot of respect for Shamuyarira and that he read a lot
of literature written by him."

      The latest verbal punch-up comes hot on the heels of another battle of
wits pitting the Information Minister and the tough talking vice-President
Joseph Msika over the controversial designation of Kondozi Farm in Odzi.

      Vice-President Msika, who had stood up against the designation of the
horticultural farm and its takeover by the state-run Agricultural and Rural
Development Authority, lost the battle to the Information Minister.

      Of late, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited, which falls under the
Department of Information has also been critical of John Nkomo, the Minister
for Special Affairs in the President's Office through its publications - The
Herald and The Sunday Mail - over the issuance of purported withdrawal
letters to evicted white commercial farmers.
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      Chinamasa booted out of farm

      Felix Njini
      6/10/2004 6:59:29 AM (GMT +2)

      COMBATIVE Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick
Chinamasa has been booted out of the lush Rockland Farm in Mashonaland East
which he controversially seized in 2002 under the government's land reform

      Impeccable government sources who did not want to be named confirmed
yesterday that the minister had been shown the door and told "to stick to
his one farm in Manicaland province". Chinamasa confirmed that he had ceded
ownership of Rockland Farm, but denied that the farm belonged to him
personally but to his wife, Monica.

      Government officials have however been known to use their relatives
and wives to circumvent the government's stated stipulation of one man, one
farm as they used these as fronts to mask their multiple farm ownership.

      Chinamasa's eviction comes as government moves to regularise the
disorderly land reform which thus far has benefited mostly the high echelons
of ZANU PF. Influential politicians in the ruling party abused their
positions to seize multiple farms under the land reforms meant to resettle
mostly landless peasants. Multiple farm ownership, particularly by
influential politicians, has added strain to the credibility of the
controversial land reform.

      Sources in Mashonaland East said Chinamasa had been bundled out of the
province, leaving the prime Rockland Farm to former Marondera mayor Luke
Mukungatu. This was seen as a move by government to endear itself to a
sceptical public that has since dismissed the land reform as nothing more
than a gravy train. The government has pledged to deal with the illegal
multiple farm ownership irrespective of the positions of those involved.

      The sources said one of the reasons cited for Chinamasa's eviction was
that the minister, who occupied the farm in 2002 during the frenzied and
widely publicised fast-track programme, had "acquired the farm illegally".

      Chinamasa is on record as saying in 2002 that his wife Monica had been
lawfully allocated 432 hectares of the 1500-hectare prime farm, formerly
owned by a Peter Baker.

      It has also been established that Chinamasa had the lion's share (432
hectares) and the most productive land of the 1 500 hectare spread, which
was divided into some small plots to accommodate as many land-seekers as

      ZANU PF insiders dismissed Chinamasa's claim that he had voluntarily
ceded the farm to Mukungatu, saying that the minister was hiding behind a

      "The chickens are coming home to roost for those who grabbed farms
illegally taking advantage of the chaotic situation. Chinamasa was actually
on the verge of being taken to court, but he later opted for an out-of-court
settlement, he did not leave Mashonaland East voluntarily," said a well
placed source.

      Government, facing increasing pressure from critics over the shoddy
manner in which it has handled the whole land redistribution issue, has
tasked ZANU PF's no- nonsense hatchet man John Nkomo, who is the minister of
Special Affairs in the President's office, to dispossess corrupt government
officials of multiple farms, mostly under the A2 model.

      Among other issues, Nkomo was also tasked to address the issue of
conflicting ownership claims, wrong ownership and farm sizes.

      It has however emerged, sources said, that some officials, reluctant
to let go their ill-begotten wealth, were sharpening their knives against
the ZANU PF political heavyweight with some of them allegedly accusing him
of restoring land to whites.

      Nkomo, a political hardliner, has pledged to leave no stone unturned
as ZANU PF moves to clean up its messy act in a bid to restore its long lost
political dignity and also to bolster its faltering position ahead of the
watershed parliamentary poll in 2005.

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      MDC to capitalise on ZANU PF in-fighting: Tsvangirai

      6/10/2004 7:01:20 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which has built an alliance
with other small opposition parties ahead of the 2005 plebiscite, is well
poised to capitalise on the fissures emerging within the ranks of the ruling
ZANU PF, the party's leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said.

      In his weekly message to the party, Tsvangirai said the MDC had built
on the experience accumulated since the party gave ZANU PF, in power and
virtually unchallenged since independence in 1980, a major scare in the
parliamentary and presidential elections in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

      "The demise of the nationalistic ZANU PF cabal is now clear. The party
's leaders are at each other's throats. The clashes between ZANU PF
opportunists, reformers and purists from the old school in that party are
evidently paving the way for a new Zimbabwe. A similar process took place in
South Africa in the dying days of apartheid," Tsvangirai said.

      The ongoing anti-graft drive, which will form a major part of the
ruling party's manifesto for the 2005 plebiscite, has spawned internecine
conflict within ZANU PF, while the succession hot potato has also severely
tested the uneasy unity in the ruling party.

      The entente between the so-called young turks brought into government
by President Robert Mugabe in 2000, and the old nationalist guard in the
party has been tested in recent weeks.

      The highly publicised spat over the controversial Kondozi farm
involving Vice President Joseph Msika on the one hand, and ministers
Jonathan Moyo, Joseph Made and Christopher Mushowe on the other, is a case
in point.

      ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo and the party's information chief
Nathan Shamuyarira have also been involved in public disputes with juniors
in the party over various issues in recent weeks, prompting the old guard,
which still dominates the party's powerful politburo, to issue a warning to
uppity juniors over their naked disregard for protocol.

      Tsvangirai said all this made for a better showing for the opposition
than in 2000, when the MDC won 57 seats and denied ZANU PF a crucial
two-thirds majority in parliament.

      "In 2000 and in 2002, we exposed the regime's weaknesses. We made
tremendous advances and gave the people the necessary confidence to take on

      "We made a significant dent on the regime's pillars of support,
forcing ZANU PF to apply every trick in the book to influence the outcome of
the elections.

      "We gained invaluable experiences in that struggle. The experiences
show us that it is possible to introduce a new political culture in

      The MDC leader, who missed out on a parliamentary seat when he was
defeated by ZANU PF's Kenneth Manyonda in the Buhera North constituency,
said ideals that the ruling party had used to garner support could no longer
be used.

      "We are near the end of our struggle. Everything that ZANU PF claimed
to stand for is collapsing around Robert Mugabe: indigenisation, land
redistribution, black economic empowerment and food self-sufficiency.

      "The so-called agrarian revolution has begun to eat its own initiators
and their families," Tsvangirai charged.

      The country's biggest opposition party has finally come out clearly
that it would contest next year's parliamentary elections after some within
the leadership had hinted at a boycott.

      The MDC is, however, pushing for wholesale changes to electoral
legislation, which makes for a decidedly uneven playing field, steeped in
favour of Zanu PF.

      Tsvangirai said there was renewed optimism within the ranks of the
democratic movement following last week's meeting with church leaders,
opposition parties and civic society groups.

      "Events in the past week were quite instructive and inspiring. For the
first time since the National Working People's Convention in 1999, we
formally met as a broad alliance of democratic forces and agreed on the

      "Representatives from civil society clarified their roles and
responsibilities in the creation of an environment in which the people are
able to decide on critical governance issues through the election of a
leadership of their choice."

      The MDC leader said the party had welcomed Shakespeare Maya, former
president of the National Alliance for Good Governance (NAGG).

      "Maya stated that after intense debate and discussion within his
party, there was a general agreement that the state of Zimbabwean politics
offered no room for a middle ground. Either one supports the Movement for
Democratic Change or one is still stuck in the retreating status quo.

      "We have an open door policy in the MDC. Welcome all. If you believe,
or if you can see, that Zimbabwe is on a downward spiral, do not continue to
sit on the fence. The MDC is your home," Tsvangirai said.

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      Bread price set to shoot up

      6/10/2004 7:02:50 AM (GMT +2)

      THE retail price of bread, which has been rising steadily during the
past few months, is expected to shoot up to between $3 300 per loaf and $3
600 per loaf in the comings days as wheat shortages continue to stalk the

      The retail price of bread is pegged at $2 800 per loaf but players in
the sector said a further increase would be effected before the end of this
week mainly because of a 71 percent increase in price of flour.

      Millers, who are using imported wheat because of last year's low
harvest, have been increasing the flour price on a weekly basis citing the
exchange rate as the major driver of costs.

      This Monday, the price of flour shot up from $2.4 million a tonne to
$4.1 million a tonne against an acute shortage of the commodity.

      Players in the bread-making industry said if the shortages of wheat
persist, added to which there is continued depreciation of the local
currency against major currencies, the retail price of bread would be above
$4 000 per loaf by December this year.

      The situation in the industry has not been helped by the fact that
local wheat stocks have been depleted and that millers are finding it
difficult to get the required foreign currency to import wheat.

      "There is a serious shortage of flour on the market. The milling
industry is relying on imported wheat but the depreciation of the local
dollar has seen millers hiking the price of flour on a weekly basis," said
an official from one the country's leading bakers.

      "The other problem is that of limited foreign currency allocation at
the foreign currency auction floors. The end result is that millers push up
the price of flour to cover their overhead costs," he said.

      The international price of wheat is around US$326 per tonne, while
locally produced wheat costs around US$140 per tonne.

      However, players in the sector said the only way the deficit can be
addressed and the price of bread stabilised would be for the government to
provide the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) with foreign currency to import
about 150 000 tonnes of wheat to cover the deficit from June to October.

      However, bakers are pessimistic whether the current farming season
would produce enough wheat considering the small hectarage which has been
put under the winter crop.

      Zimbabwe consumes 30 000 tonnes of wheat per month.

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      Parks officials to face the music over licences

      6/10/2004 7:02:17 AM (GMT +2)

      THE axe could soon fall on some high-ranking National Parks and
Wildlife Authority officials as it emerged this week that a crack police
team had moved in to investigate allegations of corruption in the awarding
of hunting licences.

      Industry players had raised concern over alleged corrupt practices in
the allocation of lucrative hunting licences which benefited mostly senior
ZANU PF politicians and their cronies.

      Sources told The Financial Gazette this week that officers from the
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sought clarification from
Environment Minister Francis Nhema recently on the role of his ministry in
the awarding of licences.

      Nhema has denied being questioned by the CID, but confirmed that the
law enforcement unit was investigating officials from the department accused
of corruptly parcelling out licences and faking hunting licences.

      "It is not true that I was questioned by the police. Police are
investigating some irregularities that were unearthed at the National Parks.
There are allegations of corruption that were levelled against some senior
members of National Parks," said Nhema.

      The Environment Ministry had also received reports that some National
Parks board members were involved in corrupt activities and has started its
own investigations.

      "I met the workers and management at the National Parks and several
allegations were raised at the meeting. The meeting was aimed at finding a
solution to the problems affecting the National Parks," he said.

      Industry players in Matabeleland, who claimed that the government had
suffered prejudice worth billions of dollars, said the investigations
confirmed that pressure put on senior government officials such as
Vice-President Joseph Msika and Minister of Special Affairs John Nkomo had
started bearing fruit.

      Indigenous safari operators in Matabeleland had called on the
government to intervene, but lethargy in redressing the issue had raised
suspicion that ZANU PF bigwigs could be behind the development.

      Police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka could neither deny nor confirm
that Nhema was questioned twice, saying he was verifying with the CID.

      "I have not heard anything of that sort. Let me check with serious
fraud," said Mandipaka.

      Nhema said his ministry only concurred with the Department of National
Parks and was not directly involved in the issuing of hunting quotas.

      He said there was a lot of fighting in the safari sector as players
were competing for clients. The minister is on record saying the government
was serious in stamping out corruption in the safari sector.

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      MDC to vet new poll candidates

      Allen Chifokoyo
      6/10/2004 7:04:06 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which is about to take part
in its second general elections since its formation in 1999, will this time
vet all new candidates who will battle it out against ZANU PF in the 2005

      The opposition party, deemed to be the most serious challenger to the
ruling ZANU PF in the poll, has tasked its national executive to oversee the
vetting exercise, after which candidates for next year's polls will emerge.

      Sources said the process would rid the MDC of pretenders and state
agents that had infiltrated the party, viewed by President Robert Mugabe's
regime as a puppet of the British and the American governments.

      Under normal circumstances, candidates are selected through the local
structures at ward and district levels. They are nominated by consensus,
failure of which primary elections are conducted.

      MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said all candidates for the 2005
parliamentary elections should be fully subscribed members and should adhere
to the party's policies.

      "One should be a bona fide member and should be knowledgeable and
subscribe to the party's principles, which encompass democratic principles
and abiding by the rule of law," Nyathi said.

      He said there was nothing extraordinary about the exercise, adding
that all sitting Members of Parliament and councillors had been excluded as
they met the necessary criteria. The vetting was mainly targeted at the new
members, said Nyathi.

      The move comes in the wake of bitter squabbles in the party stemming
from sharp differences between the so-called intellectuals and trade
unionists, heightening fears that the MDC could have pressed the
self-destruct button.

      The acrimonious wrangling in the party had trickled down to cell, ward
and district levels, raising fears that if the leadership failed to patch up
their differences and consolidate the gains of the previous poll, they could
be penetrated by the ruling party and lose next year's elections.

      The squabbles have led to defections from the party including those of
three councillors who have reportedly joined ZANU PF.

      The resignation from the MDC of disgraced acting Harare executive
mayor Sekesai Makwavarara has also raised questions about the allegiance of
some senior party officials who were elected into public office on an MDC

      "The party is undergoing this exercise to find out who is and who isn'
t a genuine member," an insider said. "There have been so many squabbles
that the party was left with no choice but to vet its members. Some
councillors have even defected to ZANU PF."

      In 2002, the party's leadership expelled former Highfield legislator
Munyaradzi Gwisai after he clashed with the MDC's policies, including the
party's stance on the land reform exercise.

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      Tongues wag over NAGG , MDC marriage

      Brian Mangwende
      6/10/2004 7:04:33 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S political chameleon, Shakespeare Maya, whose little known
National Alliance for Good Governance (NAGG) never really registered on the
relevance radar, last week joined the country's biggest and probably only
credible opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change

      As news of the political alliance between Maya's NAGG and former trade
unionist Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC filtered through, it could only provoke
mixed feelings among observers weighing the implications of the move.

      This was moreso given that Maya, who, to all intents and purposes, is
trying to give a fresh heart into what is a doomed political career
increasingly characterised by self-doubt, had over the years come through as
a ZANU PF sympathiser even though he had his own party. In fact it had been
suggested that NAGG was a ZANU PF front to confuse opposition politics in

      The move also set a few tongues wagging: Is Maya a flexible and
courageous politician? Does this mean that Tsvangirai's MDC is capable of
forging strong and resolute alliances with other opposition political
parties in the fight for a new democratic dispensation whose path has been
strewn with violence?

      Other than the mixed feelings and the few questions raised, the
country's political life remained largely the same as if nothing had
happened. Nor was there any noticeable tremor in the bunker of the ruling
ZANU PF, which was shaken by the MDC during parliamentary elections in 2000
and the subsequent contentious presidential ballot two years later.

      While sceptics were unanimous that Maya had been strategically planted
by ZANU PF to destroy the opposition from within its ranks, others said the
assimilation of NAGG by the MDC was of little consequence. They pointed out
that the fact that the country's political life had not been shaken by the
move underlined a lot about Maya and NAGG's political relevance.

      If anything, they said, Maya's move would be of very little, if any,
significance to the opposition party. Instead, it was Maya who stood to
benefit as this would bolster what they said was the NAGG leader's faltering
political fortunes.

      But University of Zimbabwe lecturer Joseph Kurebwa was of a different

      "Maya stands greater chances of fighting ZANU PF while with the MDC
than to go it alone," he said.

      "Statistically, his joining the MDC may have no significance, but it
is the broader meaning of the move. He'll probably make an impact in terms
of his decision to join he MDC. Maya doesn't have a meaningful following.
The fact that he has decided to join forces with the MDC demonstrates how
the opposition would like to make a meaningful contribution to society as
one. There is going to be a wider divide between the ruling party and the
opposition, and this symbolically is significant."

      He added: "Maya's move could earn the MDC a number of votes in terms
of people sitting on the fence."

      Insiders said the MDC's new recruit was understood to be eyeing the
Chegutu constituency. The seat would be contested in next year's
parliamentary poll but it remained unclear whether the MDC's national
executive would endorse him as the party's official candidate, they said.

      However, in his weekly Tuesday message, Tsvangirai has already
publicly welcomed Maya, whose career as an opposition politician seemed
headed for the rocks before it even really took off.

      Before his recent move, Maya, who mustered a paltry 11 906 votes in
the controversial 2002 presidential poll against President Robert Mugabe's 1
685 212 and Tsvangirai's 1 258 401, had increasingly drifted into political

      During the same election, which was rejected by the MDC and the
international community, Wilson Kumbula of ZANU received 31 368 votes while
ZAPU's Paul Siwela walked away with 11 871ballots .

      Another political analyst, Heneri Dzinotyiwei, said: "The challenge
that the opposition has is to create a chemistry that can galvanise
representation of the opposition across the board. Whether or not that
specific individual can bring about change or not is something else.

      "Will the marriage be taken seriously by ZANU PF? I don't think so.
The MDC, as the main opposition, needs to identify forces to merge with and
bring meaningful change to the country. So far, ZANU PF has made tremendous
strides in consolidating their power bases and this cannot go unnoticed."

      MDC insiders said they would be closely monitoring Maya as they were
still not sure that his shift was genuine.

      "We are still wondering why he has joined us," a party insider said.
"He used to criticise the MDC with so much vigour and his move is suspect.
He must be taking after a certain minister in ZANU PF who used to viciously
criticise that party, but was later rewarded with a ministerial post. Maya
attacked the MDC left, right and centre and all of a sudden he says he wants
to be our member. We will be watching him very closely."

      Maya, who missed a recent rally addressed by Tsvangirai, has already
courted the ire of the MDC leader, who castigated those who failed to attend
saying they face possible disciplinary action.
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      Zimpost threatened with another strike

      Staff Reporter
      6/10/2004 7:05:12 AM (GMT +2)

      A NATIONWIDE strike that could once again cripple the country's postal
service looks imminent at Zimpost following a deadlock between management
and workers after a breakdown in the collective bargaining process.

      Workers have since served management with a notice to embark on a
strike starting from June 21.

      The standoff has been further complicated by what workers'
representatives term intransigence by management over the implementation of
a salary increment recommended by an arbitrator.

      Zimpost has been directed to award a huge salary hike that will see
the state-owned postal firm's annual salary bill increasing by 824 percent
to $98 billion.

      However, management announced on Monday that it would not effect the
award, arrived at through a voluntary arbitration process after collective
bargaining negotiations broke down.

      Gladys Mutyavaviri, Zimpost's general manager, wrote to staff
indicating that the company would not implement the recommended salaries.

      "Implementation of the arbitration award will result in a situation
where lower level staff will earn more than senior staff. Serious salary
overlaps will result from implementation of the arbitration award. The award
is therefore not implementable," Mutyavaviri stated.

      Management then met workers' representatives later on Monday, but this
failed to break the deadlock, prompting workers to serve management with a
notice to strike in 14 days' time.

      Mutyavaviri said the monthly staff costs arising from the arbitration
award would amount to $6.6 billion per month and almost $80 billion

      "Currently our average monthly revenue, which amounts to about $5
billion per month, is not adequate to cover staff costs alone, even before
taking into account other operational expenses which have to be met in
running the business.

      "It is therefore not practically possible to sustain the salaries
emanating from the arbitration award. In addition to the above-mentioned $80
billion, an additional $18 billion will be required to clean up salary
overlaps, resulting in total staff costs of about $98 billion in 2004.
Overall, total staff costs will increase from $11.9 billion as at end of
December 2003 to about $98 billion in year 2004.

      "The resultant total staff costs amounting to $98 billion are clearly
unsustainable," Mutyavaviri said.

      She added that Zimpost would "refer the matter back to the relevant

      The National Employment Council for the posts and telecommunications
industry directed the Zimpost salaries issue to voluntary arbitration in
March following a deadlock in the collective bargaining exercise.

      Zimpost proceeded to award workers a 50 percent increase on all
allowances, together with what management said were "median market salaries"
backdated to January 2004.

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      Diaspora dollar initiative confounds critics

      6/10/2004 7:05:41 AM (GMT +2)

      THE jury might still be out on the efficacy of the current crusade to
harness the hitherto elusive diaspora dollar in the formal economy, but
early indications are that the initiative could well confound even the
staunchest doomsayers.

      Remittance figures emanating from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
indicate that as much as US$16 million has flowed into the economy following
the launch of the initiative to encourage Zimbabweans in the diaspora to use
formal channels to send money back home.

      This would crudely translate to an average US$8 million in each of the
two months since RBZ governor Gideon Gono announced measures to bolster the
foreign currency inflows from the diaspora.

      Projections of the current inflows on a full-year basis, and including
an expected upturn in figures as more and more non-resident Zimbabweans lose
their early apprehension over the sustainability of the new money transfer
dispensation, come up to as much as US$100 million per year.

      This would doubtless make remittances from Zimbabweans in the diaspora
one of the major sources of foreign currency flowing into the country, which
has suffered chronic shortages of foreign exchange since the onset of the
economic recession, now in its fifth consecutive year.

      The diaspora dollar would rank quite favourably with traditional
sources of foreign exchange such as tobacco, gold and tourism, all of which
have been in decline since 2000.

      Tobacco, which is meant for the unmanufactured international leaf
market, is losing its glitter as the country's premier foreign currency
earner in the face of the controversial land reform programme that has seen
expropriation of formerly white-owned commercial farms to resettle mostly
landless blacks.

      Last year, the country's 83 million kilogrammes of the then golden
leaf earned a total of US$183 million in revenue. It earned in excess of
US$600 million at its peak as the major export earner.

      Gold brought about US$170 million into the country in 2003.

      Economic analyst John Robertson said the upsurge in inflows did not
necessarily mean that non-resident Zimbabweans were sending more money back

      "This is the direct result of a higher floor price, which started off
at $5 200 to the US dollar and is now $5 300, as well as the willingness to
channel funds through official channels as opposed to the risk they were
taking before.

      "Quite a number was waiting for a favourable rate, as opposed to the
levels of about $3 500 to the US dollar that used to prevail. And now that
the rate is attractive, the build-up is reflected in the rise in May
inflows, but I suppose the figures will revert to previous levels,"
Robertson said.

      Non-resident Zimbabweans have always remitted what are beginning to
appear as substantial amounts of the sought-after major currencies back
home, but all this found its way to the grey economy, as foreign currency
dealers took advantage of the arbitrage opportunities presented by the dual
exchange rate policy stubbornly pursued by the government.

      This drove the local currency to nether levels previously
unfathomable, even as the economic recession gained negative momentum.

      Before the stabilisation programme being spearheaded by the RBZ
following the presentation of the watershed monetary policy of December
2003, the local unit was trading at about $6 000 to the United States dollar
and about $8 000 to the British pound.

      Foreign exchange dealers enjoyed roaring business as the formal market
simply dried up, with the country's foreign exchange cover disappearing

      Even government departments and national utilities relied on the
parallel market for supplies of hard currencies to meet critical inputs and
service external arrears.

      This, however, ceased to be the case when the RBZ introduced
controlled auctions of foreign exchange and declared war on parallel market

      Rates on the parallel market simply plummeted, tracking those
obtaining at the bi-weekly auctions superintended by the RBZ.

      By the end of January, the local currency was trading at about $3 500
to the greenback, having appreciated by about 50 percent within one month.

      The estimated three million Zimbabweans strewn all over the world,
particularly in Britain, the United States and South Africa, have always
been touted as a possible source of foreign currency inflows.

      However, not many ventured to craft the possible methods to tap the
diaspora dollar and when the RBZ came up with measures, which included a
diaspora floor price of $5 200 to the greenback and the licensing of money
transfer agents to replace many murky facilitators that had proliferated to
exploit the absence of a formal transfer mechanism, many were sceptical.

      To date, up to 15 money transfer agents have been licensed by the
central bank, effectively replacing the myriad informal agents.

      Indeed, the initiative is yet to win over everybody, but the
unexpected success recorded thus far, with an estimated US$20 million
flowing into the country since the new measures were announced on April 21,
will certainly cause even the most strident critics to take note.

      Of course, some citizens in the diaspora still maintain that they are
not about to part with their hard-earned foreign exchange to indirectly
support an economic programme crafted under a government that hounded them
from home and disenfranchised them in the process.

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      Parirenyatwa in intensive care

      6/10/2004 7:06:11 AM (GMT +2)

      THE future of Zimbabwe's largest referral institution, the
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, is in jeopardy unless the government comes
up with an immediate cash injection to reverse the fast deteriorating

      Officials at the hospital this week blamed the same negative factors
that have seen the country's health delivery system collapsing, for the
sorry state of affairs at Parirenyatwa. Apart from brain drain, these
included an acute shortage of drugs and essential equipment resulting from a
crippling foreign currency crunch.

      This comes at a time when government, long accused of profligacy, has
noticeably scaled down on its services to the public as most of the funds
needed to provide the actual services expected of it would have to be
borrowed when the government is under pressure to borrow as little as

      Thomas Zigora, the group's chief executive officer, admitted this week
that the hospital, which is also owed millions of dollars by defaulting
patients, was confronted by an acute shortage of drugs.

      Zigora, however, said the phenomenon was not peculiar to Parirenyatwa
alone but other health delivery institutions.

      "It is no secret that public health institutions in Zimbabwe are
severely under-funded, and have been for a number of years now. Not only is
there a problem with respect to the level of budgetary allocations, the
non-availability of foreign currency has also become an even greater
obstacle to the provision of health care services especially for that
segment of the community that cannot afford private hospital fees.

      "All we need now is a bit of foreign currency to rehabilitate our
medical equipment and we shall be well on our way to full recovery," Zigora

      Eric Bloch, a local economist, expressed outrage at what he said were
skewed priorities in the allocation of public resources in the face of
crumbling social services.

      "I find it difficult to understand why we spend so much more on
defence as if we are at war , than on health where the problem of HIV/AIDS
is more threatening," Bloch said.

      In the 2003/2004 budget, the Ministry of Defence was allocated $1.201
trillion, while the Health Ministry got only $701.2 billion, much of which
was channelled towards remuneration.

      Parirenyatwa Hospital is considered one of the most critical referral
health institutions in the country as it caters for the bulk of the nation
who live below the poverty datum line.

      "Health care is a basic human right that is being increasingly
recognised as an important aspect of the global millennium development
goals," said Jonathan Mafukidze, a sociologist at the University of

      "Development is not development at all if nations are made up of sick
people who cannot access treatment and other forms of care. Health care must
be delivered on the basis of need rather than ability to pay as emphasised
by private hospitals. It becomes imperative for government to seriously
revamp the public health delivery system for the benefit of the poor
majority," he added.

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      UK clarifies land reform stance

      Nelson Banya
      6/10/2004 6:57:18 AM (GMT +2)

      THE United Kingdom, long accused by the Zimbabwe government of
refusing to atone for its colonial sins and reneging on pledges to finance
the country's land redistribution exercise, has stated that the full
requirements of land reform are beyond the capacity of any single country.

      British embassy spokesperson Sophie Honey said the United Kingdom was
never against land reform, but could not support the chaotic fast-track
programme which the Harare government embarked on in 2000.

      The land issue has been at the centre of a bitter diplomatic row
between Whitehall and Harare, with the latter accusing the British
government of interfering in the domestic politics of a sovereign state
through its perceived support for the opposition in the country and ducking
its responsibility to finance land redistribution as the former colonial

      It is the emotive land issue which saw the UK's early adulation of
President Robert Mugabe at independence in 1980 initially turn to scepticism
and, subsequently, outright hostility when he started pushing ahead with the
controversial "back to the land" idealism - dispossessing white commercial
farmers to resettle landless blacks. The diplomatic fences were
irretrievably broken when President Robert Mugabe won the 2002 presidential
election tainted by unfair campaigning, systematic bullying and intimidation
of the opposition.

      "The UK has not reneged on commitments (made) at Lancaster House. At
Lancaster House the British government made clear that the long-term
requirements of land reform in Zimbabwe were beyond the capacity of any
individual donor country.

      "Since independence we have provided 44 million pounds for land reform
in Zimbabwe and 500 million pounds in bilateral development assistance.

      "The UK remains a strong advocate for effective, well managed and
pro-poor land reform. Fast-track land reform has not been implemented in
line with these principles and we cannot support it," Honey said.

      Britain has imposed sanctions on President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean
ruling elite, while Harare has retaliated with a diplomatic offensive
targeted at portraying British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a latter-day
imperialist siding with the white commercial farmers dispossessed through
the controversial land reforms.

      However, Britain contends that Zimbabwe's problems stem from economic
mismanagement and a flagrant disregard for basic democratic tenets.

      "Land reform cannot be separated from other issues of concern -
democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and the economy.

      "This was agreed, including by the government of Zimbabwe, at the
Abuja conference in September 2001," Honey said.

      Honey denied that the British government, which declared that the 2002
presidential elections in Zimbabwe were not free and fair, wanted to impose
a government in Harare that would be amenable to alleged British imperialist
designs, a common allegation by President Mugabe and many of his lieutenants
Zanu PF and government.

      "It is for the people of Zimbabwe to decide who should lead them. We
believe they were denied that choice through flawed presidential elections
in 2002," Honey said.

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      Harare councillors stage no-show

      Staff Reporters
      6/10/2004 7:00:22 AM (GMT +2)

      A FULL Harare City Council meeting that had been slated for last
Tuesday failed to kick off after some of the few remaining councillors
failed to turn up, as the drama at Town House continues.

      As a result, Harare City Council chamber secretary Josephine Ncube was
forced to postpone the meeting to today because those who attended did not
constitute a quorum.

      Only 11 of the remaining 26 councillors attended the aborted meeting.

      The city's town clerk, Nomutsa Chideya, said at least two-thirds of
the councillors must be present for official deliberations to take place.

      Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo suspended 13 city fathers
recently after they defied his orders by proceeding to elect a new deputy
mayor to take over from the embattled Sekesai Makwavarara, Harare's acting
executive mayor.

      The suspended councillors, who came into the municipality through the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change ticket, have since filed an urgent
application in the High Court seeking the reversal of Chombo's decision and
also to bar the minister from interfering in council affairs.

      Yesterday, their lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, told The Financial Gazette
that the hearing had been set for next Monday before Justice Chinembiri
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      NEPAD: Africa still on its knees

      Nelson Banya
      6/10/2004 7:03:28 AM (GMT +2)

      YET another delegation of African heads of state and government makes
tracks to Sea Island, Georgia, in the United States of America, the venue of
this year's summit of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations, amid
growing signs of fading patience in the rich North over Africa's apparent
failure to police its own.

      Indeed, while presidents Joaquim Chissano, Thabo Mbeki, Abdelaziz
Bouteflika, John Kufour, Abdoulaye Wade and Olusegun Obasanjo will make the
trip, mandarins in the United States diplomatic service had cast doubt over
whether the Africans would be invited to make yet another pilgrimage to
state their increasingly tenuous case for aid.

      The G8, which comprises the United States, France, Germany, Canada,
Italy, Japan, Britain and Russia, will begin its annual summit on Tuesday
June 15.

      Princeton Lyman of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington told
a G8 preparatory conference held in London in April that no outsiders -
except poor cousin Russia of course - had been invited to the summit at Sea

      "No invitations have gone out and this year the G8 summit will be
dominated by two issues - the Middle East and terrorism," Lyman said.

      This had led to speculation that Africa's issues would be frozen, at
least for another year, from the rich countries' agenda until the 2005
summit in Britain, where Tony Blair would seek to prioritise the continent
he famously described as a scar on the human conscience.

      It would follow then that the G8 nations, themselves rent in the
middle by the divisive Iraq issue, would be rid of attending to Africa's
cocktail of woes - HIV/AIDS, poverty and the stalled New Partnership for
Africa's Development (NEPAD), a blueprint that seeks a rebirth in terms of
how the continent conducts its governance and business.

      It is the NEPAD initiative - driven by Mbeki, Obasanjo and
Bouteflika - that had given Africa access to the last two G8 summits in
Canada (2002) and France (2003).

      However, lack of headway, particularly over the peer review mechanism,
which the rich north was eagerly interested in, has seen the early optimism
that greeted NEPAD dissipate into indifference.

      The peer review mechanism, which was aimed at allowing African states
to voluntarily benchmark their economic and political performance, has been
lampooned by critics for lacking teeth as it is silent on penalties for
nations found guilty of economic mismanagement and a democratic deficit.

      Proponents have, however, indicated that the system was not designed
to penalise or sanction governments which do not comply, but to expose both
successes and failures in an effort to establish benchmarks for Africa's
political leadership.

      African leaders have dismissed calls for the continent's peer review
mechanism to be given additional muscle to censure errant governments.

      NEPAD's business group has expressed frustration over the "toothless"
peer review system, saying business intended to push for an additional
rating mechanism to assess a country's political governance as an investment

      To date, only 18 out of the 53 African states have applied to be rated
under the mechanism, displaying naked disdain by many governments, including
Zimbabwe, which are not willing to subject themselves to scrutiny for
reasons that are all too obvious.

      Zimbabwe, which has increasingly been ostracised following the
adoption of a decidedly isolationist stance by Harare, is in such bad shape
it would not stand even minimum scrutiny.

      However, the peer review mechanism kicked off on May 25 with Ghana
being the first ever test case. NEPAD adherents say this marks an important
step in the project, while sceptics dismiss it as a desperate gesture to
pacify the demanding G8 states.

      The Ghana review was conducted by a panel of eminent Africans
including former South African central bank governor Chris Stals and Graca
      Machel, wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, which
will report back on a variety of issues ranging from corruption to political
freedom to economic transparency.

      Rwanda and Mauritius will also be reviewed in the next few months.

      In spite of the ongoing efforts to breathe new life into the
initiative, political scientist Ibbo Mandaza contends that NEPAD has lost
steam due to the fact that it has never shaken off aspersions that it was a
Western contrived creature alien to the nuances of the African continent.

      "It (NEPAD) has lost steam and needs serious revisiting because there
does seem to be serious pandering to the West.

      "The issue of preconditions for aid is also nonsense, particularly
when one considers that the West, through colonialism, is partly responsible
for much of Africa's problems. The past is in the present," Mandaza said.

      "Peer reviews should never have been instigated from outside, but by
Africans themselves and not because they want aid. Africans should make up
their minds," he added.

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      Temple on a sewer

      6/10/2004 7:30:19 AM (GMT +2)

      ON November 26 2003, our editorial comment called on the
powers-that-be to restore integrity and credibility to the fast declining
standards in the country's secondary school examination system. This came in
the face of a series of monumental blunders and bungling by the
much-maligned Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC).

      There was heightened anxiety over the country's discredited secondary
school examination system, which had seen unprecedented confusion. The
maelstrom was spawned by ineptitude and incompetence on the part of those
who administer the now appalling system.

      At that time, the embarrassing examination debacle included cases
where students had reportedly studied wrong set books while others received
results for examinations they did not sit for. Not to mention the
unnecessary delays in announcing examination results and the leakage of
examination papers.

      And we warned then that what had emerged publicly could just be a tip
of the iceberg because the picture could be pretty bad. And our worst fears
have been confirmed. The pendulum has swung too far the other way.

      Indeed, the situation seems to have taken a turn for the worse. A
multitude of long-suffering parents and pupils are justifiably wary over the
ridiculous and short-sighted delay in registering candidates for this year's
"O" and "A" level examinations. Enter the arrogant Isaiah Mashayamwando
Shumba, the deputy Minister of Education, Sport and Culture who last week
blamed, of all things, the drought for the delay in registering candidates.
Please, what is this world coming to? Those of the Parliamentarians with
conscience must have frozen in time wondering whether they were hearing
right as they listened to Shumba's not only specious and spurious but
self-evidently absurd and ludicrous claims! What in God's name is the link
between drought and the delayed registration of the candidates?

      Will Shumba and his scapegoating self-important colleagues ever take
matters of national concern seriously? Is it maybe because their children
get educated outside the country and get to write the more reputable
Cambridge examinations denied the common ruck of folk through the
localisation of secondary school examinations? Indeed with jokes like this
as ministers what government needs saboteurs? The deputy minister's
parliamentary "tragicomedy" could be laughable were it not for its
implications on the country's biggest assets - children - on whose
scholastic development the salvation of this great nation is dependent.

      The shameful truth is that Shumba's lack of seriousness did not only
show his lack of respect for Parliament but that he takes Zimbabweans, whose
intelligence he insulted, for granted. That he did not conceal his disdain
for the people underlines the contempt with which he holds the sacrifices
made by peasant parents practising back-breaking subsistence farming and the
generality of hard-pressed workers bearing the brunt of the economic
meltdown-induced social deprivation, to afford their children and loved ones
that life-time meal ticket - education.

      The head of the bungling ministry, Aeneas Chigwedere, did not fare any
better early this week. As usual, he weighed in with a less-than-convincing
explanation as an eleventh hour attempt to reassure the obviously frustrated
nation. The poignant message from the minister was: we have localised these
examinations and we will do things our way. Our own shoddy way we suppose!
No minister, running our own show does not mean incompetence and ineptitude
as displayed by your ministry. It does not mean destroying that which works

      Nothing more than what the minister and his deputy said can be more
telling or conclusively prove the incompetence in the ministry, how out of
touch they are with reality, the extent they are out of their depth when it
comes to the problems besetting the education system and why the system,
previously the pride of Zimbabwe and envy of many a nation, is teetering on
the verge of collapse. Considering what has transpired so far, one can say
with certainty that there is no sufficient management depth within the
Ministry of Education to restore the examination system to its former glory
after the serious blow to its credibility wrought by the said incompetence
and ineptitude.

      Suffice to say that the public's confidence in the examination system
is irretrievably battered. Standards in the system have continued with their
terrifyingly swift decline. Yet there is nothing fundamentally wrong with
the education infrastructure and system per se. But it is the management of
the system that leaves a lot to be desired which has made the country's
education system something more akin to a temple built on a sewer. Little
wonder the general feeling is that Zimbabwe, whose education was touted as
the best in Africa, made a tactical mistake when it switched from the
internationally acclaimed Cambridge "O" and "A" level examinations. It was
not ready and does not have the capacity to administer its own internal
examination system.

      However, that the centre no longer holds in the all-important
education sector should be blamed squarely on Minister Chigwedere and his
legion of under-performing officials - forget the government's incompetence
gloss-over policy of collective responsibility. It is sad that ministerial
packages in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe is yet to make an
example of incompetent people by firing them, are not heavily leveraged
towards performance.

      Heads must therefore roll at the Education Ministry. And we will, as
we did in November 2003, reiterate once again that since the fish rots from
the head, the axe should fall on the head of the ministry first - Minister
Chigwedere - because that is where the buck stops. Speed is of the essence
because this is a race against time if Zimbabwe is to arrest the frightening
slump in the examination system and restore it to what it once was.

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      These are the people RBZ should probe

      6/10/2004 7:09:08 AM (GMT +2)

      EDITOR - I found Mbulawa Moyo's article entitled "Chefs and their
unreal lifestyles" very interesting. I could not agree more with him.

      I was in Zimbabwe recently to buy a property and my brother took me
around the northern suburbs to view a few houses.

      In Borrowdale, he pointed at a massive house which is almost complete
and indicated that it belonged to one of the topmost men in the police

      I was shocked that the man, who came back from the liberation war in
1980 with nothing and commenced his police career as a constable could, just
24 years later, afford to own such a house.

      I conservatively value the house at US$100 000, that is, Z$550
million. This works out to be a net salary of about Z$2 000 000 for his
entire working life to date.

      Where did this man get the money from? A comment from him would be
welcome as he is part of a crusade, together with the President, to harass
and arrest other citizens on corruption charges.

      I urge the authorities to investigate the source of his funds and,
while at it, probe all those senior government officials who had their
offshore bank accounts frozen in Switzerland and the Channel Islands.

      These are the people who are guilty of massive externalisation of
foreign currency.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe must investigate all the individuals
blacklisted by the European Union for possible economic crimes.

      Demonstrate to us that we are all equal before the law.


      United Kingdom.
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      Winter crop status for tobacco?

      Staff Reporter
      6/10/2004 7:17:33 AM (GMT +2)

      TOBACCO industry players last week appealed to the government to
categorise the golden leaf as a winter crop to enable them to access funding
under the state-assisted winter cropping programme.

      Zimbabwe Farmers' Development Trust chief executive Lovegot Tendengu
said tobacco farmers were being marginalised in the disbursement of funds
for winter wheat despite the fact that preparations for tobacco cropping
begin during the winter season.

      Preparations for the next tobacco season are now in full swing, with
farmers now expected to be fumigating their seedbeds.

      Ever since the government launched its loan scheme to new farmers
through the Agricultural Development Bank last year, about $150 billion has
been disbursed so far mainly for maize and other grains such as sorghum.

      "We need the government to prioritise tobacco when availing inputs and
funding for winter crops as it does to wheat because a slack in beginning
the season also affects output," Tendengu said.

      "We are communicating with government officials at a high level on the
matter and we have been tasked to submit a strategic turnaround proposal for
the industry. We are currently polishing the draft," he added.

      The tobacco industry is the single largest employer in the country
with over 50 000 farmers, both old and new.

      However, output in the sector has been nosediving over the past four
years owing largely to the government's unplanned land reform that displaced
90 percent of white commercial farmers, who contributed much to the country'
s agricultural sector.

      This year's output is expected to go down by about 32 percent from
last year's 82 million kilogrammes.

      Players in the industry have attributed the slump to the lack of
funding and the shortage of equipment.

      This year, the auction floors opened a week earlier in a bid to lure
farmers to surrender their crop.

      The government in its quest to solve the funding problem introduced
the contract-farming concept where tobacco merchants sponsor farmers, but
the concept has not been very successful due to the shortage of foreign

      Tendengu said farmers were now also agitating for direct marketing
where a company which gives more funding towards crop production can
purchase from the farmer directly.

      More than 5.2 million kgs of the golden leaf have gone through the
hammer to date since the auction floors opened on April 16.

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      Zimbabwe's food security situation improves: report

      Munyaradzi Mugowo
      6/10/2004 7:18:01 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S food security situation has improved this year despite a
looming humanitarian crisis triggered by persistent droughts and food supply
disruptions, according to a report by Save the Children UK.

      The report is a based on a food security assessment conducted by the
organisation in the Matabeleland north province. The province, with less
than half the country's population, is home to about three-quarters of
Zimbabweans facing starvation.

      Officials from Save the Children UK said although this year's harvest
was comparatively better than the previous season's , "some shortages" would
inevitably crop up in the region later in the year.

      "I would like to disagree with remarks that the region, and the
country in general, is food-insecure. Basically, the harvest this year is
better than last year's, but there will be some shortages later on in the
year," an official who spoke off the record said.

      The official said vulnerability assessment conducted on millions of
households according to three distinctive wealth groups - the poor, the
middle wealthy and the better off - reflected an improvement in food
security compared to the country's profile last year.

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      Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa

      6/10/2004 7:31:29 AM (GMT +2)

      Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains fundamentally poor as a region
compared to other regions unless serious and drastic measures are put in
place to stimulate economic growth and ultimately development.

      Various empirical studies by independent organisations and world
bodies like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have shown that
despite being endowed with exploitable natural resources more than most
regions, the region has remained the poorest.

      The region is, however, constrained in the following ways which is the
reason why it continues to lag behind in terms of economic growth -
inconsistent and sometimes unsuitable economic policies (which is the source
of such ills as inflation, high interest rates, high budget deficit), lack
of foreign direct investment, barriers to international trade, political
instability, low savings and investment, poor technology and the HIV/Aids

      Although SSA region is undoubtedly constrained in a number of ways,
there seem to be a glaring lack of commitment on the part of governments
when it comes to policy implementation. I say lack of commitment because the
respective governments have more than enough expertise and intellectual
capacity and in some cases they even have the funding (despite rampant brain
drain) to diagnose the economic ailments affecting them and prescribe the
relevant policies.

      A number of commissions have been set up in a number of countries to
look at various issues of national interest with the view to identifying and
advising the governments on how to address and progress on such matters.
Sadly, however, either the results of the commissions were either half
implemented, deliberately set aside or, worse still, totally ignored despite
the noble policy implications of the results.

      This is usually the case where the results are critical of the
government's conduct or the operations of certain sections of the society
deemed to be untouchable. This leaves one wondering why set up a commission
in the first place when the government had a certain pre-determined outcome
which it is ready to pursue regardless of how unsuitable and unsustainable
the policy could be.

      Now that the results have shown otherwise, they would rather condemn
the outcome and say "to hell with the public resources used to finance the
commission" than open a stinking Pandora box.

      Sub-Saharan Africa needs people who are committed and who can make
sacrifices especially when it comes to implementing policies which, in the
short run might cause temporary suffering of people but whose long run
results will benefit the nation. The national interests should be considered
first rather than personal and individual interests. The stinking carcass in
the financial sector went unabated for some time not because the policy
makers did not know what to do but simply because to a greater extent the
people who are vested with the authority, by virtue of the offices they
held, were either too reluctant to change things for reasons best known to
themselves or were dangerously ignorant of the consequences.

      Despite having paraphernalia of policies to pursue at their disposal,
they watched the nation suffocating to death. May be it's because they were
too scared and timid to institute a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation fearing
that in the process they might contract diseases that could spell their
demise as well, so they would better simply watch. It only took less than
four months for a determined and action- packed governor to come up with
action-backed policies, that have since showed positive results. However
this did not come about without him sacrificing other things like his
freedom especially that of movement and enduring the wrath of attempted
blackmail, threats and vituperative statements coming from some of the
victims of his crusade.

      Credit should go not to the Governor alone, but to all Zimbabweans who
have supported and continue to support his policies. There are a number of
corporate leaders who have successfully turned around their organisations
amid all adverse factors, who are suitable candidates for appointment to
lead ailing parastatals and other public institutions. Politics aside, SSA
needs to progress and it can only do so provided capable people with proven
turnaround records are given the mandate to run the relevant institutions.
Unfortunately and paradoxically, governments have an unusual magnanimity of
rewarding people not on merit but on political grounds, no wonder why some
once vibrant organisations have been reduced to pathetic shadows of their
former self.

      If SSA countries are to achieve economic growth there is need not only
to address but to take action on the relevant issues with the seriousness
and commitment they deserve. The factual reality that SSA is the poorest
region in the world is enough shame and stigma for governments and regional
groupings to seriously start working together with a view to overcoming the
problems. Although investment has increased in SSA in the recent years more
effort is needed to achieve dynamic and sustainable economic growth.

      The following elements of policy framework need a practical approach
to promote sustainable growth and reduce poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

      'To enhance the region's growth performance, countries should seek to
boost the ratio of private investment to GDP'

      Although private investment has increased in many SSA countries in
recent years, there is need to improve on that and make sure that it's
sustainable. Governments therefore should strive to create environments that
encourages private investment, especially that promotes confidence in
appropriate macro-economic policies. They should ensure that the necessary
infrastructure and qualified labour are available, creates and maintains a
transparent and efficient regulatory framework and justice system to
safeguard property rights, adequately enforce contracts, encourage
competition and more importantly ensure good governance.

      Governments should focus on delivering essential public services and
basic infrastructure, as well as promoting human resource and social

      There is need to increase the quality and quantity of basic health
care and other essential services to improve social indicators of
developmental goals. The HIV/AIDS pandemic which is threatening to deplete
the middle aged and working class should be dealt with effectively. The
government should seek cooperation from the corporate world, church
organisations, non-governmental organisations and other institutions in
fighting the pandemic. There is also need to afford every citizen basic
education so that they are able to manage their environments and are able to
also prevent themselves from other rampant diseases such as cholera and
malaria. There is need for governments to mobilise funds and come up with an
efficient and affordable transport system.

      There is need to implement sound macroeconomic policies.

      There is a positive correlation between sound macro economic
conditions and economic growth. Governments should desist from overspending
and the budget deficit should be kept minimal relative to total GDP. There
is need to implement policies such as tax reforms, strengthening the tax and
customs administration, manage exchange rate and curbing unproductive
outlays. A small budget deficit means that there is less borrowing from the
banks by the governments leaving more resources, which can be devoted to
private sector investment.

      Some progress has been made in restructuring and privatisation of
public enterprises, however more still has to be done to reduce reliance on
budgetary subsidies and transfers. This should expand the scope for private
sector activities and promote overall economic growth. Those that might
remain in the hands of the government should however be run on a commercial
basis with experts employed who should be able to carry out independent

      In most SSA countries the central banks lacks autonomy, financial
institutions are thin and have difficult in mobilising domestic savings and
attract foreign private capital. Banking institutions are fragile consisting
mainly of indigenous banks and lack proper supervision. There is need to
ensure that the central bank is autonomous, deepen and broaden financial
markets, institute prudent regulations and supervision, rehabilitate ailing
banks, encourage health competition and strengthen the legal framework for
banking activities

      There is significant progress made so far in the area of trade
liberalisation although restrictive and complex formalities are found in
some countries. Efficient regional integration would allow many countries to
overcome the problems associated with small sizes, permit them to realise
greater economies of scale and enhance their capacity to trade on a global
basis thus further enhancing economic growth. Competition generated by
opening up to trade can improve the quality of goods and services by
changing the way things are done. The essence of trade comes about because
countries are differently endowed with resources.

      Governments and regional organisation should devote more resources in
the area of science and technology. With the impending globalisation,
technology will be one key determinant of economic growth. The setting up of
vocational training centres and polytechnics is a positive move in the quest
for technological advancement

      SSA governments and regional bodies should come up with permanent
solutions that deal with issues of wars, genocides, hostilities and coups.
Political instability has been observed to be the main culprit in the slow
growth of some economies. For example Fosu (1992) finds the 'direct' adverse
effect of political instability in SSA to be as much as 33% of the GDP
growth over the 1960-1986 period. His findings were found to be based on the
Political Instability Index of the frequencies of abortive 'coups', 'plots',
as well as 'successful coups'. He hypothesized that political instability
destabilise economic rules of resource allocation. Such destabilisation will
in turn reduce efficiency of the production process and consequently
economic growth. Political instability is one of the major reasons that
discourage foreign direct investment.

      Sub-Saharan Africa countries already know their problems and in some
cases even the appropriate panacea. However one of their biggest problems is
lack of implementation and sacrifice. For as long as SSA countries are not
prepared to face their challenges head-on, weed out corrupt and
non-performing leaders, commit itself to painful though workable policies,
then economic growth will remain asymptotic to their targets and aspirations
and the future doomed.

      Kingstone Bhatasara is an economist with Continental Securities
Trading (Pvt) Ltd and a member of the Zimbabwe Economics Society

      Articles co-ordinated by Lovemore Kadenge, president of the Zimbabwe
Economics Society. Contact details C/O Zimbabwe Business Council on Aids
(ZBCA) Tel. 753700 (Unilever South East Africa)

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      There's life after State House

      6/10/2004 7:26:23 AM (GMT +2)

      Before Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died
last weekend, America had five surviving former presidents.

      The death of Reagan of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 93 means the
US now has four former presidents, namely Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George
Bush Senior and Bill Clinton.

      A US child who was born in 1974 when Ford succeeded Richard Nixon
after his resignation over the Watergate scandal has seen six presidents,
including the incumbent George W Bush, taking the helm as leader of the
world's only remaining superpower.

      In contrast, because of the rampant tradition of clinging to power
until death, an African child from the same generation will, at most, have
seen power changing hands only three times in his country over the last 30

      In some cases, some African countries have been ruled by one
individual for almost 40 years. Examples that come to mind immediately
include President Omar Bango of Gabon and President Gnassingbe Eyadama of
Togo, who have clocked an incredible 37 years each. They are closely
followed by Colonel Muammar Gadaffi of Libya who has ruled his country for
35 years.

      I cite the example of the former US presidents to underscore to those
of our African statesmen who cannot imagine themselves relinquishing their
positions that there is life after State House.

      Those African "life presidents" and self-proclaimed "emperors" who
believe that they are indispensable should take a leaf from former American
heads of state, most of whom remain as busy and as active as ever after
leaving elective office. As long as their health is good, there is no
question of these former leaders being left without function and pride in
continuing to be useful and productive.

      One way through which they continue to enrich the fabric of their
society is the tradition of building presidential libraries. An outgoing
American president does not have much time to twiddle his fingers in boredom
because immediately upon leaving the White House he must immerse himself in
the business of raising funds for the construction of his presidential
library in his home state.

      Former US presidents also continue to contribute to national and
international discourse by publishing their memoirs, going on the lecture
circuit and setting up foundations championing various causes.

      Carter, for example, has been hailed for his humanitarian work and the
prominent role he has played in mediating international disputes. Clinton,
who only left office in 2001, has already set up a foundation dealing with
the issue of sourcing affordable AIDS drugs for the developing world.

      When King Hussein of Jordan died in 1990, I remember reading that
Clinton, then American president, had been accompanied to the funeral by
three of his predecessors. These were Ford, Carter and Bush Senior.

      I have also seen, on special occasions and anniversaries, Queen
Elizabeth II posing for pictures with the incumbent British Prime Minster
Tony Blair and some of his predecessors such as John Major, Margaret
Thatcher, Edward Heath, etc.

      Whenever I see a line-up of these former leaders, I marvel at the
collective wealth of experience and wisdom that is available for their
nations to tap into.

      But I despair over the fact that in Africa, we never get to enjoy the
benefits of having elder statesmen enriching our lives. Most either cling to
power until death or are unceremoniously ousted in a bloody coup, thus
taking their accumulated knowledge and wisdom to the grave.

      The first president of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, has,
however, given the continent hope that things could improve. Since stepping
down as president in 1999, Mandela has demonstrated why he is regarded as
one of the most revered statesmen in the world today.

      After his one-term incumbency as head of state, Madiba threw himself
with gusto into new activities that have kept him as busy as before. As an
elder statesman, he has served as a mediator in a number of continental and
international disputes. In addition, he has been indefatigable in raising
funds for the various causes he has championed through the foundations he
has established in South Africa.

      Most recently, he lent his prestige and "magic" to the proceedings
when he and another elder statesman from the world of religion, the
straight-talking Archbishop Desmond Tutu, accompanied President Thabo Mbeki
to Switzerland when South Africa won the bid to host the 2010 soccer World

      Because greed, corruption, selfishness and over-inflated egos have led
to the emergence of dictatorial and tyrannical regimes that aim to stay in
power perpetually, former rulers who go back to being ordinary citizens are
a rare species in Africa.

      Recent developments in a number of African countries mean, however,
that we are soon to see a number of still energetic former presidents
reintegrating into society as ordinary citizens. These include Joaquim
Chissano of Mozambique, Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Sam Nujoma of Namibia.

      They can learn a great deal from Mandela, who has shown that by
quitting while you are still popular, you can continue to be admired,
revered and influential. Most importantly, you can continue to be useful to
your country.

      It is far better situation to be in than that of deposed dictators
whose people have a sigh of relief and say "good riddance" when they are
finally dragged from State House.

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      Mawere should just shut up!

      6/10/2004 7:35:36 AM (GMT +2)

      When money gets to one's head, it becomes an intellectual liability.

      Agreed, money is power, but justice is even more powerful.

      Philip Chiyangwa thought he could bad-mouth anyone, including a court
of law, but he has had to reform - to the extent of becoming a Christian.

      Chiyangwa thought he could threaten and insult any soul or institution
without justice lifting as much as a finger to reprimand him.

      But ask him and he will tell you that all the money in the world could
not stop the fleas from feeding fat on his rich flesh for a number of
sleepless nights in prison.

      In Cape Town, an enormous seaside mansion is no longer under
construction, not because Chris Kuruneri does not have the money to complete
it, but because his mouth misled him.

      Kuruneri would tell any journalist who cared to listen that "his hands
are clean" when the police began to show interest in how he had become rich
so quickly.

      In spite of all his angelic statements, the cabinet minister ended up
in remand prison - and is still there!

      A loud mouth costs a lot of money and time behind bars, in
disciplinary hearings or ends in humiliation.

      Joseph Chinotimba was at it again last week, throwing mud all over
Minister John Nkomo. Although he has since taken back his words, the general
of the farm invasions may pay for abusing his mouth.

      As for Mutumwa Mawere, the fellow should just shut up.

      The seemingly smart Mawere is in quicksand but he cannot stop kicking
and fidgeting and splashing mud all over.

      Mawere, wanted for alleged externalisation of billions of dollars,
told journalists last week the government was free to revoke his Zimbabwean

      His arrogant statements in the media can only strengthen the resolve
of the ZANU PF police to nab him and make him get a feel of our remand

      The anti-corruption crusade is increasingly becoming a matter not to
joke with but Mawere still has the guts to talk a talk he cannot walk.

      The young tycoon has already forgotten that for him and his good Uncle
Bob and several of their ZANU PF comrades, the world no longer includes
Europe or America, where the Julius Makonis and Nicholas Vingirais of this
country have decided to take refuge from Zimbabwean law.

      Mawere's utterances in recent media reports can only but incense the
ruling party that he has allegedly severally manipulated to achieve his

      His deals and empire, it is said, could not have been successful
without the ruling party deliberately looking aside as long as those at the
top got a share of the cake.

      Mawere is also blind to the fact that the good old Uncle is
strategically attempting to retire in grace, having flushed out the
cancerous rot that had been gnawing steadily at his party.

      President Robert Mugabe carries the bad-boy cross because of the
chains that his kith have bound him with through their immorality and
general neglect of the fundamentals that make a ruling party credible,
reliable and integral.

      While he is still basking in the apparent glory surrounding the
"success" of the controversial so-called Third Chimurenga, President Mugabe
has already instigated a Fourth Chimurenga.

      This chimurenga, or war, is aimed at cleansing his party of the evils
that resulted from the second and third chimurengas, such as the Gukurahundi
that killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Matabeleland
province, general political violence and corruption.

      This chimurenga will purge ZANU PF of unpatriotic, selfish and greedy
politicians and businessmen who have fed on the scarce resources of the
nation to the detriment of all hardworking citizens.

      It is a purge that is likely to disregard any political affiliation,
liberation war credentials or blue-eyed-boy image.

      And Mawere's vehement self-defence in the media seems to suggest that
our law enforcement agents may have stumbled on something.

      All the same, talking to the media the way he did wasn't smart. He
could simply have said:"Talk to my lawyers."

      Well, now he will need a very good lawyer. If only he had kept his
mouth shut.

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